• Mr Swire urged to invite funding decision maker, Lord Nash, to Tipton St John School flood visit

    12th January 2016 | News | Claire
  • Dear Mr Swire

    I was very pleased to hear from your BBC Radio Devon interview last week that you will invite the chief executive of the Environment Agency to visit Tipton St John’s primary school to see for himself the risk of flooding – as well as how staff must keep a never-ending watch on the weather forecast and repeatedly prepare for the possibility of heavy rain.

    As you will be aware, the floods have so far only taken place outside of school hours.  Evacuating children from a flood would be a very different matter – and very frightening for them.

    A site on the edge of the village was identified for a new school in 2014. The landowner was happy with the proposal and the community were delighted that the children were set to be educated in a new building well away from the flood zone.

    All that was needed was funding so it could happen.

    You will be aware that all the local primary schools are full.  The King’s School is also at capacity.

    I believe that it was a huge shame and very short-sighted, that the bid for funds was rejected by ministers.  In my view it is absolutely vital that central government rethinks this issue, particularly after the school grounds were once again inundated with floodwater on 30 December, which involved a big community clear up, with the help of six fire officers. 

    Although it will be helpful for the chief executive of the Environment Agency to visit the school to help advise on interim flood mitigation measures, I believe that it is absolutely vital that Lord Nash, as minister with decision-making responsibility for funding such schemes, is also invited on the visit – or alternatively at a different time that is convenient to him – so I would very be grateful if you would also extend an invitation to Lord Nash.

    Finally, can I assume that as Devon County Councillor for Tipton St John I will receive an invite to the visit?  I would be grateful if you would advise.

    Many thanks

    Photograph with thanks to the Sidmouth Herald.